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July 29 2013, 09:18 AM   #38
Tiberius
Commodore

Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

Timo wrote:
 But the first time through they made no attempt, because they didn't know they were going to be destroyed. Thus they would not have turned back.
They can't know that for sure. There would be any number of reasons why they could have made an odd course change the first time around, leading to their destruction. Odd course changes is what starships do for a living!
But if they had changed course the first time around, then there would be some reason which would also apply the second and third and fourth times. If they change course at random based solely off the fact that they have information which they could not possibly have had the first time, then they know they are doing something which did not happen the first time.

 But if taking a certain course is the thing that leads to destruction, then the odds of one getting destroyed are extremely low no matter what the course. After all, there are an infinite number of courses available!
That's right. However, the fact that they know the Enterprise has been destroyed at least once proves that the course they are on definitely leads to their destruction, then taking any other course will almost certainly avoid the destruction.

 Yet our heroes know that there is a time loop there. It's extremely unlikely, then, that the course they take would be of any consequence, because if the loop really is course-dependent, then only one choice out of an infinite number will create the loop.
Agreed. Changing course would make no difference if the distortion was not based on a location in space. Perhaps it was attached to the Enterprise somehow and would always appear at a certain position relative to the Enterprise, regardless of where the E actually was.

 So logically, our heroes should decide that course is of no consequence. It is weird and unusual and against all odds, then, that the loop in the end is revealed to be not only course-specific, but course-specific to the centimeter!
However, there no evidence in the episode that suggests that the distortion was Enterprise based (ie, it would always appear at a certain position relative to the Enterprise no matter where the ship was) rather than location based (ir, it would always appear at a certain location in space, regardless of whether the Enterprise was there or not).

 Of course, yes, admittedly, all right, by not turning at all, one is choosing a "special" course that has higher odds of being chosen than any of the others, in a repeat sample. But as said, for our heroes in the n'th loop, it must appear likely that deviating from this course has been attempted at least once before, and it hasn't helped at all.
They could certainly make this assumption, but without evidence, it would be a very foolish assumption to make. After all, would you just assume you;d tried and failed a potentially life-saving course of action the last time through and then assume it didn't work and give it up without any evidence to support this conclusion?

The crew was not using that kind of logic. if they were, then they'd figure that the first time through they tried the tractor beam idea, and it didn't work, so they'd straight away try the shuttle bay idea.

 I see this as contradicting the episode.
Sure. But the nature of the time loop in the episode takes our heroes quite justly by surprise - they could not have known that deviating from their course would be the right choice. The episode features an exceptional and unlikely time loop that in "reality" should have zero odds of happening, because it depends on centimeter/millisecond accuracy of events, and yet we know each loop is different in subtle ways. Our heroes would know how exceptional and unlikely a loop of this very sort should be, and thus not bet their lives on that. Not lightly, anyway.
They would have had very good reason to suspect that altering course would avoid the crash. After all, with nothing to tell them to alter course the first time through, they hit the Bozeman. The second time through, with this information, they can be reasonably sure that they didn't alter their course the first time, and so trying to avoid the location of the collision by turning around would certainly make sense.

 Stop where the ship's at, launch a few probes or remote controlled shuttles, and just wait and see. That's the first thought that went through my head.
That wouldn't have achieved anything in either "Cause and Effect" or "Time Squared", though. Space is too big for that.
Doesn't matter. They can be reasonably sure that whatever is going to happen will be reasonably close to their current location. Doubtful it was going to happen in the Gamma Quadrant, after all.
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